This month makes five years since I initially put 1929 on Kindle. I’ve learned a lot along the way. The biggest thing I’ve learned? Writing is the easy part. The first few years of independent publishing involved a lot of confused looks, frustration and head banging. (And tears. There were tears, people.)
By year four I started to get the hang of what I was doing. Year four is also when I started getting serious. I stared putting in longer hours and treated it like a job. Fortunately, using that three letter word didn’t steal any of the joy from what I do. I’ve thought about putting together an ebook or a guide to publishing but after much research I realized that every road to success is different. Heck, the very idea of success varies from person to person. Regardless, I know what I know after all these years and there is some value to it, so I’d like to offer any of you who are just beginning this journey to contact me. I’ll share what I’ve learned and what has and hasn’t worked for me in the past. (With the caveat that what didn’t work for me might work amazing well for you. And vice versa.)
Lately I’ve been working with my niece who, at 17, is nearly finished with her first YA fantasy novel. She comes over for fantastic writing sessions with me where she sits across the table with her laptop and basically we ignore each other for a few hours while we both work. After we are done, I’ll give her some advice or pass on some knowledge. I’m trying to prep her for everything to come: the rewrite and editing process, cover design, working with createspace, formatting and amazon’s Kindle direct publishing. To say nothing of social media, advertising, marketing and growing a fan base. The most honest piece of advice I gave her: “Get ready to work harder than you’ve ever worked in your entire life.” I know, she’s 17, right? How hard has she worked in the past? But she is determined and that is half the battle. She knows going in that an 8 hour day is a day off. A 14 hour day is standard and if she really wants it, brew some coffee and make it a nice round 18 hours. Oh, and that's 7 days a week. There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes and I am thankful to have had enough success (after five years) to employ Monica to help me be even more productive. Now that I have her, 18 hour days are less the norm. 12 is more the standard.
I’m also excited to share what I know with Lisa, whose interview will air on January 31st. In the meantime you can find her here At FlourMeWithLove. Her fans have requested a cookbook which is very exciting. She has contacted me and we have an appointment to talk on the phone next week to help her with some starting points in her project. Monica is also developing some cover concepts for her to consider.
If any of you are considering taking this journey feel free to contact me. I’ll help however I can.